Apr 062011
Authors: Erin Nalli

There is something about summer that makes it the most logical time for a wedding.

While I personally know a few people getting married this summer, I know even more who are guests of weddings in the upcoming months. Wedding ceremonies can be a tricky event to plan attire for, but this guide will instruct you on some basics that will be appropriate to wear for any type of wedding.

First off, there are two very basic guidelines any wedding attendee should follow.

Number one, no matter the level of formality, always dress tastefully and modestly. There is usually a very wide range of age groups and, sometimes, cultural groups at weddings, and you wouldn’t want to offend any of the other guests.

Number two, unless instructed to do so in the case of a themed wedding don’t wear white. White should be saved for the bride, and if guests are wearing white it can look tacky.

On the Nordstrom website, there is a section under women’s dresses that divides the merchandise up by the type of event it is needed for. There is a section for guests of weddings and after looking through the products listed, I think almost every one of the dresses available is a safe bet as long as you are conscious of the formality of the wedding ceremony.

For Black Tie Weddings:

Black-Tie events are very formal. Women are safe wearing dresses made of satin, silk, lace or chiffon in a cocktail style dress or a very simple gown. Men should wear properly fitting suits with a tie and coordinating accessories (as in shoes and a belt).

Black suits are definitely more formal looking than any other color, so unless you have a wide variety of suits and practice in dressing formally, wearing black is the easiest thing for men.

The most important part of dress when attending a formal wedding is to dress up enough while still keeping it simple. Nobody in attendance should be outshining the bride and groom.

For Semi-Formal Weddings:

These events are a little less formal than the previous, but they still do require dressing up.

Women can wear dresses or skirts in any length between the knee and floor. Dresses should still be of more luxurious fabric but can be a simpler, less formal style.

Men can wear suits of any color and choose to wear a tie or not, but they should still wear coordinating accessories. These weddings are not as formal as black-tie and are probably the most typical level of formality for a wedding.

The formality here gives both men and women more choice in the style and colors to wear as guests of the ceremony.

For Casual Weddings:

Casual weddings give attendees the most options in terms of dress.

Women can wear dresses or skirts in fabrics as simple and casual as cotton. If it is a daytime wedding, sundresses are also an appropriate choice, especially if the wedding is outdoors in the summertime.

Men can go as casual as khakis with a button up shirt, once again with coordinating accessories. As long as the wedding is specifically stated as being casual any of this attire will be appropriate.

When dressing for a wedding, always remember to keep the level of formality in mind.

Also, remember to keep your dress in good taste and appropriately modest. Weddings are a great time of celebration and gathering, so attire should not stress any attendees out too much.

There are plenty of resources that exist to help wedding guests out, though. Look through some websites for ensemble ideas, and if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask a sales associate for assistance.

Fashion columnist Erin Nalli can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 4:40 pm

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